Category Archives: art

DIY nails gone bad

photo (37)

Quite some time ago, I had a disastrous experience with my manicure. I wanted to recreate some fancy runway look and it didn’t come out nearly as fresh and fly as I wanted it to. The lesson I took from that was that any attempts at getting “fancy” with my nails would undergo a trial run by me, at home, for free.

Enter, the color-on-color French.

Well, let’s be honest here first. This isn’t a French manicure. I hate French manicures. I see no purpose in having a naked nail with an exaggerated white tip. It’s foolish that people spend extra money to make their nails look like, well, nails. Use a nude. And don’t get me started on the ridiculousness of it on toes! Gross! Toes are not fingers! Why make them look like they are?

Correction: Enter, the pale green/purple color block.
OPI Gargantuan Green Grape/Rumple’s Wiggin’

For as often as I change the color on my nails, this was actually the first time I experimented with “design.” (I use that in quotes because I’ve seen people paint fucking Monets on their nails.) This seemed simple for me. Use one color. Let dry. Tape off ends. Use second color.

My problems came quickly and often. Color everywhere. Smudges. Tape getting stuck to my nail. Nail color coming off with the tape.

Plus, I do my nails like little kids color — totally outside the lines. Get that color all over the place. Then, clean it up once it’s dry and under water.

Not my finest work. But because I invested a good hour out of my day, I’m sticking to the results. I definitely am not imbued with the patience to do this again.

photo (35)

Air bubble takeover. Correcting the bald spot left from the tape removal.

photo (36)

Left hand: Crooked lines, still not cleaned up. I’m left-handed, so this never looks good.

photo (34)

Right hand: The lines are better, but it still looks crappy.


I paid for this

Got a good glimpse of my nails while I was typing away just now. Yes, this manicure is on purpose. And I just got it on Tuesday. I was inspired by silver-and-pink Chanel manicure that looked very cool. Mine, not so much… I see now why manicurist didn’t want me to do this. It looks like the color has grown out.

Lesson learned: When I try something new, I’ll do it at home (aka for free).


A good 24-hour period of my weekend was ripe for a screenplay. Working title: EAT PLAY ROCK.

Friday night’s itinerary seemed pretty simple. Head to downtown, pick up a friend and go see the LACMA rock. Then, get some kickass grub before seeing a (pushing my nerd glasses up) adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra.

I guess I should have put my nerdy caveat at the beginning of that paragraph since the jury is still out if chasing down a 340-ton megalith as it makes its way from Riverside County to Miracle Mile through an engineering feat is “exciting” or not.

Since we live in Los Angeles, the night started off late. Stuck in traffic. I picked up my friend behind schedule. Then, we suffered through both street and freeway traffic to head down Figueroa for the city’s newest celebrity. Like all celebrities, it was larger than life and traveled with its own entourage. After a quickie photo session, we were back on our way towards downtown—in need of a bathroom and without a dollar to spend on a hold-me-over bacon-wrapped hot dog. (Adding to frustration: I noticed too late I did have enough cash for some grub.)

And as my passenger’s mood got snippier (low blood sugar, she claims), I kept driving towards downtown. We needed to make up a lot of time lost with the blasted rock. Where did we finally eat? Carl’s Jr in Lincoln Heights.

Ate too fast and took some wrong turns, but made it to the theater, which was presenting Electricidad, a chola-fied version of the story of Electra, mourning the death of her father Agamemnon at the hands of her mother Clytemnestra (*Nerd Alert: Electra has been a fascination among many playwrights. This looks at Sophocles’ version. If so inclined, here’s a good link with classical comparisons).

The EAT portion was redeemed the following evening at an exciting new downtown eatery — UMAMIcatessen on Broadway and 9th. We resigned ourselves to the waiter who told us what to order from cocktails to dessert. I snacked on some pig ears with brainnaise (?), potato knishes and a truffle beet salad (mmmm….)

Takeaways of the night:
— If a plan seems really simple and too good to be true, it probably is.
— Heading to a new place? Mapquest that shit first.
— Carl’s Jr is like manna from heaven when you’re about ready to pass out.
— Quote of the weekend: “Don’t bite it, bitch” (Reaching a hand out to crazy sister, chola-turned-nun Iphigenia in Electricidad)
— If it tastes like a crispy bacon fries, don’t ask questions and just enjoy it.

More useful information:
Luis Alfaro’s Electricidad will be playing just a handful more nights at the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (March 17 is closing night).

If you’re into LA culture, Greek tragedies or homeboys, check them out. Great show in intimate environment. It’s not that often that you laugh your ass off during a tragedy (for all the right reasons).

*Oh, and proceeds go to Homeboy Industries.

The Arabic tattoo seen round the world

Last weekend, there was a little spat among some La Liga players.  I didn’t see the game, but the post-match played out on Twitter.  Again, not known to me are the particulars, but I’m guessing that somewhere in the melee someone called Cesc Fabregas racist.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with this since Cesc tweeted how adamantly non-racist he is. Among the evidence: His Lebanese girlfriend and Arabic tattoo.

Yay for tolerance, open-mindedness and not being racist.

That’s not what this post is about.

This is about that “Arabic” tattoo.

I don’t know what offends me the mot about this — the fact that it’s ugly OR that there’s a lame little star in the middle of it OR that there’s an even lamer “D” within that star (doesn’t he know rule #1 of relationship tattoos — don’t get em) OR that it’s not even in Arabic. It has been transliterated. In my class, that’s forbidden!

I’m willing to forgive Cutie Fabregas anything, except this gross injustice.

Before I even saw it, I read that the tattoo said “My Life ‘D’ Forever.” And when I finally saw the picture, I immediately felt like all my Arabic studies were in vain. I COULDN’T READ IT.
But fear not. It took me a good minute to realize that I couldn’t understand this monstrosity because I was reading it from right to left and looking for Arabic letters. The way you’re supposed to!

I’m not saying that all Arabic tattoos need to be in Arabic. But why not? You’re still going to have to translate it for everyone. Which one do you think is cooler?




And besides, when you stick to the original script, you avoid inconsistencies with transliteration. I mean how many different ways are there to spell Moammar Gadhafi?

Check these calligraphy tattoos. It’ll make you look twice at Cutie Fabregas’.

PHOTOS: Cesc showing off his left forearm tattoo and close-up of Arabic (both from tumblr).

Martha, Martha, Martha… Oh how I can’t stand her!!

Martha. Freaking. Stewart.

First, she lures me in with super-cute homemade decorations that are both sleek and shut-the-front door simple.  Like, how could you not have thought of that yourself decades ago?  Then, the siren beckons even more when the directions don’t betray that simplicity.  Like, yes, even your 5-year-old neighbor can do this.  The nail in the coffin is when you’ve already invested time and money over the course of a weekend and the “end product,” if you can really call it that, looks like something Martha wipes her ass with.

Damn you, Martha Freaking Stewart!

I had an inspired idea to make Halloween decorations out of papier-mâché and a quick, cursory look on the Internet reveals that not only has everyone else already thought of it, Martha has perfected it.  An obligatory roll of the eye.  Of course she has.  As much as I want to, I can’t hate her.  She puts together some pretty sick designs.

All the above needed was balloons, tissue paper, and wheat paste, a mixture of flour and water.  First of all, wheat paste is gross — clumpy, messy, smelly, fast to dry and a pain to clean.  Second, orange tissue paper is harder to find than you’d imagine.  Third, I don’t know why I thought papier-mâché would be fast and easy.  It’s not like I’d ever done it before on my own and unsupervised by an adult who brought all the materials and pre-prepped my work area.  First balloon took 30 minutes.

After an appropriate lapse of time…10 orange balloons hanging from a line.  The next day, I pop the first balloon and it shrivels up and dies.  What the hell?!  The second balloon does much better.  I’m reassured.  But it’s fleeting.  One by one, down the line I go, and it’s Russian roulette which balloon survives to live another mâché-d day.

happy not knowing what's to come

not so lucky

The Survivors

Out of the seven survivors, just one looks Martha-esque.  The rest don’t look like they’ll be able to stand more poking, prodding and cutting to become jack-os.  Now, after two days and $20, I’m aborting original plan.  Their new lot in life will reflect my inner-crafty feelings — gory lanterns with blood splatter and drips.  Have you thought of that one yet, Martha?!

Soccer boots as art

As the U-20 World Cup continues in Colombia, FIFA gave us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the teams and players. The 80-photo gallery has some great shots of players stretching in tunnels, holding hands with little children, praying/reflecting on the game at hand. There are a handful of photos of impromptu shrines set up in each locker room, such as Mexico’s to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

For me, though, the most visually appealing of these photos focused on shoes. I felt as if I’d walked into a pop art exhibit with all the bright, neon colors on display. Here are a few I liked, but you should check out the full gallery.

Oh, and shout-out to el tri who play Brazil in the semis this Wednesday night 6 p.m. PST.

PHOTOS courtesy of FIFA (from top): The Mexican team’s boots are laid out prior to the round-of-16 game against Cameroon; a nice trio in Ecuador’s locker room; a different day, a different set up of Ecuador’s kits and cleats; close-up of Mexican player’s boots.

Art in the Streets retrospective

No more Art in the Streets. boooo. Los Angeles’ shout-out to graffiti artists, street art and culture was wildly popular. When I went, the line snaked down 1st, past Central and god only knows where else. I made a HUGE mistake when I went. I instinctively went straight to MOCA’s Grand Avenue location. That was HUGE because by the time I walked over to Little Tokyo, I zipped right in front of all those people in the 90-degree heat and waltzed right in with my front-of-the-line pass. Plus, I enjoyed a cucumber mint lemonade for my walk — like a refreshing mojito.  And I bought this beauty as a souvenir.

Here as some pics taken with my shoddy phone camera.  I tried my best… There’s LA-specific stuff, Shepard Fairey and Banksy. Not the best quality, but I repeat… tried my best.

Bacon Watch OVERDOSE Days 31 and 33 and 34

It’s a bacon palooza! Aren’t you happy??!! Ok, I’ve been awful at keeping up with the daily bacon onslaught this weekend. To make amends, I’m throwing everything at you today.

Starting with Bacon Watch Day 31 aka Friday

I got an email from my colleague about the Bacon Calculator. In essence, it breaks down how many calories and grams of saturated fat are in one single slice of bacon. Here’s the rub: you think that bacon’s so bad for you which is why you won’t touch more than a slice at a time. But, in fact, some of the things you are looking at stuffing in your face are far worse. Consider the above Chili’s bbq ribs = 26 bacons.

Read the piece here on the HuffPo.

Bacon Watch Day 33 aka Sunday

Nothing rings more true than when the hunky Old Spice Guy tells you so half-naked in a towel. And what he tells me here, via @GeorgeGSmithJr is that the destruction of a bacon factory is VERY bad news.

Bacon Watch Day 34 aka Monday

Another present from a colleague: The ultimate pheromone. Those Taco Bell commercials had it right… There’s no sweeter smell than the salty, savory bacon… MMMM…

I wonder, if I buy this and wear it, will people notice I’m wearing bacon perfume or just that awesome that I naturally exude the scent??

PHOTOS: chili’s equals how many bacon strips? Old Spice Dude and bacon fragrance

The Tragedy of SPARE-TA: Act I


Scene 1

(Enter THE ONEDER and E. BAGGESEY. All other characters already present.)

TUMULTY                        Hey, we’re all wearing black tank tops!

E. BAGGESEY                  What? (realizes what she’s wearing) Oh, yeah.

BRANDIFER                    Me too! See I’m wearing it under my shirt (pulls up her bowling shirt to reveal, yes, there is a black tank top on underneath)

THE ONEDER                  (rolls her eyes a little as she realizes the little things that amuse her bowling mates) Ummm… so where’s Nicole?

Scene 2

(THE ONEDER walks over to her lane assignment where she sees MERRITT, HIP CHIMP, OL’ REICHY and THE INTERNATIONAL)

THE ONEDER                  to MERRITT Hey, how’s it going?

MERRITT                           Alright. Did you practice?

THE ONEDER                  Is that always going to be your first question?

MERRITT                           Yeah. So did you?

THE ONEDER                   No, but we did make up the three games from that other week (motioning to TUMULTY who has joined the lanes)

MERRITT                           How did you do?

THE ONEDER                  Not great.

TUMULTY                         But it’s OK. It should bring down our averages. That’ll help against this team (motioning to WPS Pay Roll)

THE ONEDER                  It wasn’t my fault though. Listen up. First, they stuck us in lanes 1 and 2. Those over there (points to the far end of the bowling alley) We’re bowling right against the wall in one lane and then, if that’s not enough, we have gum on the other. Gum!

MERRITT                          Gum?

THE ONEDER                  Yeah, gum! Right in the path. It messed with my walk and got in my head.

MERRITT                           looks at TUMULTY for some clarification

TUMULTY                         (shrugs) Yeah, but at least it’ll bring our averages down.

OL’ REICHY                      (starts laughing) Where’s Nicole?

Scene 3

(All characters are gathered around lane as CHRIS starts dropping the bowling wisdom. He’s standing in an awkwardly balanced position, swinging his arm up and down.)

CHRIS                                I’ve noticed that some of you have terrible form. If you manage to knock anything down, it’s based on pure luck. (Grabs a ball and approaches nearest lane)

Here, let me show you how it’s supposed to look.

{Takes a few steps. Plants foot. Sweeps other foot behind. Swings arm forward. Releases ball and follows through. Bowling ball curves and spins its way down the lane until it knocks down EVERY pin. Applause}

Do you see how I’m standing? I could be here all day. I’m centered and balanced. Some of you are falling over the second you release the ball.

{His ball has returned. He picks it up and repeats the exact same motion as before with exact same results.}

Let’s work on that today.

(Enter Nicole)

OL’ REICHY                       to Nicole… whiskey shots, please.

HIP CHIMP                        A lemon drop

THE INTERNATIONAL            Corona

TUMULTY                           Blue Moon

Chorus of other bowlers makes the requests indistinguishable. People are shouting beer names, brands, and bar food.

NICOLE                                (to herself) I need another cigarette break.


End of Act I

PREVIOUSLY ON The Tragedy of Spare-Ta!: A comedy of errors: Cast of characters

UP NEXT: A cruel realization, a close call and a time of desperation in Act 2

The Tragedy of SPARE-TA: Who’s who?

As announced earlier, The Tragedy of Spare-Ta!: A comedy of errors will be published here in installments. The begin, we have the cast of characters and setting.



THE ONEDER       Unofficial leader of the This is Spare-Ta! bowling team. Always surprised to find team in second place and willing to do just about anything to keep them from falling from grace.

TUMULTY              Member of This is Spare-Ta! Though bowling with one of the lightest balls, has steadily become the “one to watch” on the team.

MERRITT               Member of This is Spare-Ta! Older than the rest, awkward and has no previous ties to them. They were grouped together in the second week and has realized that the only reason THE ONEDER and TUMULTY let him live is because he’s an above-average bowler.

HIP CHIMP            Leader of WPS Pay Roll, a rival bowling team.

OL’ REICHY           Member of WPS Pay Roll. He’s prone to sauntering up to the lanes and fits of laughter for no apparent reason.

THE INTERNATIONAL    Member of WPS Pay Roll. The tall, silent type who will surprise others (and himself) with knocked-out frames.

RAINMAKER         Cheerleader for WPS Pay Roll.

BRANDIFER          Member of Strike Specialists, a bowling team. She has bowling in her genes and recently got a 185.

E. BAGGESEY        Member of Strike Specialists. Currently shy of a 100-point average, her biggest fumbles are foot faults.

CHRIS                    The Dude at the alley who talks about form and balance and reading books on bowling. He also collects the money.

NICOLE                 Most important character in the play. She provides alcohol.



AMF Lanes, Mar Vista, Wednesday night (April 6, 2011 to be precise) The following action takes place in three and a half hours during the weekly rookie bowling league. Eight teams have been competing since late February. Some just go for the good times. Some are there to perfect their form and take down their better-skilled progenitor. Some are out for blood.


UP NEXT: The battle lines are drawn between two rival teams. . .